Should The Bengals Trade for Arthur Brown?


Jun 12, 2013; Owings Mills, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Arthur Brown (59) walks off the field after mini camp at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

It was recently reported that Ravens inside linebacker, Arthur Brown, has been involved in potential trades.

Since this report, the Ravens have downplayed this potential scenario with statements like this.

Within Brown’s response he states:

"“Somebody from the staff came up and told me that it was just a rumor, that there was some interest and they would listen, but I wasn’t necessarily on the block.”"

So the Ravens supposedly aren’t shopping the young linebacker, but are willing to listen to offers involving him.  Brown is young enough and available enough to intrigue opposing teams.  The Bengals should consider acquiring the young middle linebacker and place themselves amongst these teams.

The Ravens acquired Brown in the second round of the 2013 draft.  If traded, it’s likely the Ravens will have to settle for a lesser pick with reports like this hanging around.  The Ravens are known for grooming quality linebackers and Brown possesses the kind of all-around ability that could intrigue the Bengals at (middle) linebacker.

The Bengals possess a talented group of seven players in the middle of the defense: Vontaze Burfict, Emmanuel Lamur, Vincent Rey, Rey Maualuga, Marquis Flowers, Jayson DiManche, and Sean Porter.  Burfict and Lamur will hopefully be at the position for a long time. Lamur is a free agent following this year, but the Bengals could easily retain the promising linebacker by giving him Maualuga’s current deal (more of less) and letting Maualuga leave via free agency (which they should).  The rest of the linebackers (Rey, Flowers, DiManche, Porter) are signed through next year.  Rey looked promising last year and will likely be retained due to his special teams prowess, but Rey is 27 and may not be a long-term answer at linebacker.  Flowers and DiManche are young and promising linebackers who the team acquired with a sixth round pick and as an UDFA, respectively. Both deserve to be with the team to this point. If each of these players were retained, the Bengals would have five linebackers next year and the team often carries at least six, despite playing primarily in the nickel formation.

If the Bengals were to trade for Brown, who was coveted by many fans, he could come in and battle Sean Porter for the final spot (or take his spot this year); Porter has been hurt much of this year after missing all of last year with a shoulder injury.  Porter is an ultra-versatile backers who the Bengals seem loyal to, but Porter hasn’t been able to make any kind of impact to date.  Considering the Bengals’ struggle to find a pure middle linebacker (Brown also possesses versatility), they may find a score in Brown.

The Bengals will likely possess two substantial compensatory picks in this coming draft due to the departures of both Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins to Tampa Bay.  As both players are starting, the Bengals might even score a third and fourth round pick in the coming draft (compensatory selections can be given as high as the third round).  If you were the Bengals, might you be willing to give up one of your fourth round picks for Brown.  The Ravens are also struggling at running back.  Could they consider Rex Burkhead also (the Bengals could bring up James Wilder, Jr., just a thought), who possesses the kind of receiving and blocking skills that team needs in light of Ray Rice’s release?

The Bengals are typically the type of team who develops their own talents, preferring not to dabble in other team’s washouts.  But Brown is still very young and impressionable.  More than that, he comes from the Ravens linebacking system and is versatile, a love of the Bengals.  They don’t often make trades, but should the team consider this opportunity?